On both sides of the Tasman, as we emerge from our bubbles and being in lockdown, it is a new reality we are facing. It is hard to predict exactly what the economic future holds for us all. I won’t even try to provide you with clarity on that, as even some very clever economists are struggling to work it out! What is true is that we are in an economic downturn and it will last for some time. What we also know from the last recession, the GFC, is that those who invested in their brand and marketing came out as the winners, post-recession. In many cases they even grew their market share during the downturn.
However, for many who do not have the advantage of huge marketing budgets or marketing teams, how can you fire up your marketing efforts to ensure you come out of the COVID-19 enforced recession, intact and hopefully thriving?
Below is a simple and practical list of 4 key areas you can focus on now. In many cases they are either free or low cost and they are well worth doing.
Invest in your brand – for free.
It may be that you set up your website and your social platforms a while ago. You may well have, as business was good, let these drift. Now is the time to start investing and promoting them again but with a clear strategy.
Hopefully, your website is set-up for SEO. The next stage is to make sure you have registered and updated both your Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. Yes, do both, they are reputable and will provide great links back to your website. Then make sure you have also registered with other free directories. To help with this in Australia you’ll find a good list of these here, and for those in NZ this list should do the trick.
If your company isn’t on LinkedIn and you are in the B2B space, then get on it now. Set-up your account and as a new advertiser they’ll give you $50 free ad credits. When you sign-up to Google analytics they also give you free credits to spend. Take advantage of all this, it will help.
Invest in your brand – low cost.
It is sadly true that the advertising industry is one that has suffered significantly as a result of COVID-19. This does mean that in many cases the cost of placing adverts will have, in the main, come down. It may feel like you are being ‘opportunistic’ taking advantage of this. However, the reality is they need bookings and cash-flow. This good news for you, is that you can potentially get some much-needed advertising booked for less dollars.
It also pays to look at advertising on Facebook and even Instagram, if pictures suit your business. Both of these platforms provide targeted ways of placing your adverts and they are very cheap. You can hit local audiences for less than $50, so consider having a play with this. You will soon learn what works and what doesn’t for your business.
Revisit your website’s content.
If your website looks professional, then it most likely doesn’t need to be rebuilt. However, if you haven’t looked at your content in a while, it may be out of date or wrong. Revisit it and update it. This is important as Google is hungry for new content, therefore your site needs new content and/or its existing content updated to keep it performing well in search rankings. It may also be that your business has had to pivot to respond to COVID-19, so you’ll need to make that clear to your audience.
It is also a good idea to add video content to your website. It is likely that you’ve had to move a lot of your business services to an online delivery method. If you’re still working this through I’d recommend that you read Jane Baker’s excellent article on this platform. Use YouTube to host your video and set-up a YouTube channel too. It is the best video platform to promote your business on.
Fire up your content marketing.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to plan and invest in your content marketing strategies. First,write a list of ideas for content. This content needs to directly link to the products you sell or the services you provide. Next, you will need to think about your intended audience and make sure your content is focused on them. Next, it’s time to get writing. This may seem daunting to you. Worry not, there’s lots of great advice on how to do this, including this article from Linda Reed-Enever.
Publish it on your website and promote it on your social channels. If there’s relevant trade press or websites, like this one, then submit your content to them. It pays to be published externally as well as on your own channels. Just make sure that you don’t publish the same article in two places. That can hurt your SEO.
If you’re not as busy as you previously were, then now is the ideal time to invest in the above activities. Investing in your brand and marketing efforts will pay off in the long term. It should also help you come out the other side of this recession in the best place. Doing the above will start to get your brand and business back in the minds of your audience.
While the above may not seem ground-breaking it can have a big impact. Remember, investing in your brand and marketing efforts now, will help you come out of the COVID-19 economic downturn as strong as you possibly can.